Apulia, also known by its Italian name Puglia, is a region of Italy, located in the southern peninsular section of the country, bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast and the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south.
It is bordered by the other Italian regions of Molise to the north, Campania to the west, and Basilicata to the southwest. Its chief town is Bari.
Apulia is often referred to as “the Heel of the Boot”, for its geographical position. It has a rich historic and cultural heritage, so it’s a perfect destination for all tastes.
Apulia has become one of Italy’s most popular holiday destinations. It offers ancient towns with long histories, extravagant churches, bizarre conical-roofed Trulli houses, fabulous Masseria hotels which have been converted from traditional fortified manor houses to a great deal of Baroque splendor.
Apulia is easy to reach by plane from all over Europe. There are three main airports to travel to Puglia.
- International Airport of Bari “Karol Wojtyła”: Located 30min from Bari city center, it is the main airport of the region. (located in the Central part of the region)
- International Airport of Brindisi “Salento”. (Located in the South part).
- Airport of Foggia “Gino Lisa”: This airport is mainly used by tourist flights connecting the region to its archipelago of the Tremiti Islands. Internal flights to main cities in Italy such as Milan, Turin, Palermo are also available.
All the local airports are well served with bus services, international and local car rental companies.
Apulia has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters. If you enjoy hot perfect sunny days the best time to visit Puglia is between July and August.
Apulia is one of the most beautiful regions in Italy and offers a huge choice of places to visit.Brindis, historically, the city has played an important role in trade and culture, due to its strategic position on the Italian Peninsula and its natural port on the Adriatic Sea. The city remains a major port for trade with Greece and the Middle East.
Its beautiful waterfront is packed with restaurants that serve local and fresh food. The old town nicknamed “Brindeasy” for its slow and relaxed lifestyle has an old-school traditional charm where people are friendly and welcoming.
Bari is one of the most important cities to visit in the Apulia region, not only because it is its capital, but also because of its history and beauty. In Bari, you can enjoy a historic center rich in history, with its small alleys like out of a movie, great food and wine offer. Bari has the best beaches to visit in summer.
The streets are places to socialize, and each morning you see women sitting at tables making orecchiette (little ears), the typical Apulian pasta made by rolling the dough into thin logs, cutting off a chunk and shaping it by hand at an impressively rapid pace.
You cannot miss visiting the Basilica of San Nicolás, Bari Castle, Bari Vecchia (the old town), Church of San Francesco della Scarpa, Cathedral of San Sabino, Church of San Marco dei Veneziani, Museo Civico Bari, Church of San Gaetano, Lungomare Imperatore Augusto and the Fish Market.
Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage fairytale town made of 1,500 Trulli (typical Apulian conical stone huts). It is both a unique and enchanting place. It is a small town located in the South East of Apulia in the province of Bari. Most of the Trulli here have been transformed into souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants, but some of them (in less crowded areas of the town) are real homes where people still live. You can stay in one of the authentic Trulli, a hidden gem that combines the tradition of a historic Trullo with the comforts of modern living.
The “Caves of Castellana”, a vast underground system of karst caves, located approx. 1,5km outside the town of Castellana Grotte, in the metropolitan city of Bari, is an important tourist attraction and it is generally defined as one of the most beautiful and spectacular cave systems in Italy. The caves extend for 3.348 meters total and reach a maximum depth of 122m below street level. Inside the cave system, the temperature stays constantly around 16,5°C.
Gallipoli is one of the most attractive and touristic cities that can be seen in Apulia, located in the beautiful province of Lecce. Gallipoli is known in Italy as the pearl of Salento, housing countless monuments and historic buildings among its streets. It has a peculiar walled historic center, protected by a castle and located on a small limestone island, which you can access through an old medieval bridge.
Polignano a Mare is one of Puglia’s most picturesque seaside towns, and one of the most important ancient settlements in Apulia. Spectacularly positioned on the Adriatic coast, it is built on the edge of a craggy ravine pockmarked with caves.
Otranto offers a mix of history, architecture, beautiful views, sea-front restaurants and white sandy beaches. Sitting right on the Adriatic sea, in front of the Balkans and Greece, its strategic position has profoundly influenced its history. The imposing castle and towers dominate much of the town. It is surrounded by thick perimeter walls that give way to a small port and lovely sea-front promenades dotted with excellent fish restaurants. The delightful Romanesque cathedral, dating back to 1088 with unique 12th-century floor mosaics, is another highlight not to be missed.
Ostuni, the White City (Città Bianca), is a beautiful maze-like white city on a hilltop just 8km from the Adriatic Sea. It is packed with narrow streets and alleys you can spend ages getting lost in, climbing staircases and falling in love with the stunning views. Don’t forget the walk to the highest part of the city where you’ll find the Santa Maria Cathedral which dominates the entire surroundings.
The historic center inside, its ancient walls, is home to traditional craftsmanship shops, coffees, bars and lovely restaurants to experience a perfect Apulian dinner. The surrounding area around Ostuni is well worth visiting, particularly the quaint and slightly out of the way town of Carovigno famous for its production of olive oil.
Campomarino. There are many beautiful beaches in Apulia, however, this one deserves particular attention from a naturalistic point of view for its dunes. Here you will find the Park of the Dunes of Campomarino. The dunes are up to 12 meters and form a natural barrier between the beach and the road. The shore is characterized by sandy stretches that alternate with rocks; the water is crystal clear with colors ranging from blue cobalt to green.
Lecce is called the Florence of the south. It is known for its baroque architecture with more than 40 churches and many noble palazzi built or renovated between the 17th and 18th centuries. It has one of the most unified urban landscapes in Italy. Here you have to visit the Basilica of Lecce. The streets are always alive with young people drinking in cafes, families out for a stroll and groups of friends enjoying gelato or street food. Don’t miss the Pasticciotto (typical cake of Lecce) and Caffè in ghiaccio con latte di mandorla (ice coffee with almond syrup).
Gargano is full of beautiful fishing villages, dark ancient forests in the interior, fine sandy beaches and surrounded by steep cliffs, secret caves and picturesque coves. It is ideal as an ecotourism center and to relax. The most popular and fashionable city in Gargano is the medieval town of Vieste. It is a pleasure to walk through its narrow streets while admiring the impressive 13th-century castle. Mattinata Beach along the Baia delle Zagare coastal area is among its most beautiful beaches. If you like fresh fish you have to try dinner at a Trabucco, a traditional wooden fishing platform jutting out from the shoreline. You can watch the fishing process, help if you wish, enjoy a fish dinner that will leave you with a memorable experience.
Salento, the southernmost area of Apulia is defined by olive groves stretching between dry stone walls lined with oleanders. It has a strong identity with its cuisine, traditions and music, influenced by its Greek past. Here you can visit some of the best beaches in Italy, such as Porto Cesareo with the dunes of Punta Prosciutto, Pescoluse beach (also called Salento Maldives) and Torre Lapillo beach. In summer, enjoy the Sagra di Paese (a village festival) where you can eat traditional street food while listening to traditional music like pizzica or tarantella.